Our teenage children love it when it snows. They particularly enjoy visiting a nearby hill with their sledges. While I am naturally risk averse, sledging looks such fun. Standing at the bottom of the hill the other day I found myself watching those on sledges and the speed of their descent, then looking at the fence and barbed wire at the foot of the hill, and the broken sledges left by those who perhaps didn’t undertake a risk assessment. My wife Marilyn is less worried about injury and mishap than I am, and soon made the climb to the top of the hill. Marilyn seemed fine coming down so I had a go, although I did not start my descent from the very top of the hill. I managed to stop using feet and hands just an inch or two from the fence.
Later in the afternoon Marilyn decided to make one last descent, but in a different part of the hill where very few people had disturbed the snow. The children had already tried it out and it seemed fine. I stood by with the camera as Marilyn sped past me thoroughly enjoying the experience. But then disaster struck. Marilyn could not stop and ended up entangled in a bramble bush at the bottom of the hill. It took a while to extract her from the brambles and she now has some colourful bruises and deep scratches on her legs.
Sledging down a steep snowy slope reminds me of life. So much of what we see other people doing looks like great fun. Some say that life like snowy days in the UK is short, and we need to enjoy it. The point that life is short is made in the Bible.
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:23-25 NIV)
The message of these verses, which quote from the prophet Isaiah, is that life is quickly over, just like a trip down a snowy hill on a sledge. The fun of the journey is soon replaced by the fear of the end, especially when a substantial barrier consisting of a large and thorny bramble bush is fast approaching. My wife did not pause to wonder if there was anything on the other side of the bramble bush. It seemed impenetrable, yet the snow covered field on the other side stretches for half a mile, and there are many other fields beyond this field. When Jesus Christ allowed Roman soldiers to nail Him to a cross He removed all barriers except one – the freedom given to all human beings to choose between the perishable and the imperishable. Short term fun, or eternal glory.
Photos and story used with permission from Marilyn who probably will not go sledging again.